I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch but it has been due to our blog hosts. It’s also been a really bad month with health and death.

Our family has endured loss. I’ve an appointment with a vet next week and she wants poop from our dear old dog Zoe.  I need to know why, then when and how much if I agree to why.

Poop has always been the standard Dog Mom thing. Know what you give her/him to eat, know what comes out. Pick it up in a bag, tie it off and toss it into a bin.

Now I have to bring some, poop, that is. She’s been holding out on me a couple of days per week, because The Fun Guy is unavailable, I only stay with her, feed her, walk her but when he’s off on business she wants him. Same here as he’s lenient. Not even that, he’s eager to let her play off the leash and risk a ticket, court appearance and misdemeanor and losing his job forever. Zoe and I are joined at her non-hips, inseparable.

I know. I worked for leash-free areas for six years and my dog died while I went to nightly community meetings and regular City Council sessions. That demanded a lot of time, meeting with Council staff, collaborators and the enemy, four people that then added another four, my neighbors.

Fifteen years later I feel terrible that my dog didn’t get what she wanted, a leash-free park in our neighborhood. It’ not that she didn’t get it, it’s that I spent more time looking for that for her than I did with her. The priorities were not straight.

Older now, I cherish the times I had with her. She was abused by a deputy sheriff and was afraid of men (especially those in uniform or even a hat) and children.  In the years before she died, all the toddlers in the “tot lot” called out “CHANI” and ran out to pet her when we walked into the park. It was the opposite when we began.

I like to think that the wisdom my friends taught me, the politics, everything I did for my Chani went to good use. It always came back to one premise, if parents have expensive playground equipment paid for by our tax money, dog owners should share a piece of the park pie.

Dog owners without kids are already paying property taxes for schools and all the kids in the neighborhood so why not find a creative solution for people without back yards to let their dogs run free? Yes, six years and a dissertation I cannot find. It was brilliant, made the director of Park and Rec afraid of me and had one of the most powerful people there make me his co-head and VP of development on one park board.

It was severely dysfunctional as a Board of Trustees to I tried to change it, to no avail. I never mentioned or talked about the word dog in my two years there, only about our parks and how to raise awareness and funds.

The kind gents who put me in this situation and others were seeing if I could take the pressure in different venues at the same time. I wish they could do that now as I’m so much wiser over the years. At this time I could only mentor. It would be so difficult to have a recalcitrant student like me.

I spent six years trying to make it legal for my dog to chase a ball in her park. When she died 15 years ago the neighbors got together and bought a tree from the City’s Foundation in her memory. The eight city dog haters got together and banned the tree. It was a legal donation to the Foundation (I was VP) and Park and Rec had already determined type, size and location on their own to which we had all agreed, so the haters were placed aside for this battle. We held a tree-watering ceremony in her memory. There are so many trees that have been planted around it I can barely see it on Google Earth, much less put a cup of water on it myself or leave flowers as I’m many miles away.

Friends, family have taught me a lot about pressure, priorities, and when  to have your “sidearm” at the ready. Oh, there are no sidearms, everything in life is brains and politics. If your kids know how to fight with words, and have an education, they’ll be able to live their lives.

I got a good education throughout college. Some of my mentors were from there, two died recently. Be open and willing to learn, love your family and friends. Think of what the ones you love and loved taught you. Dee

ps And remind me to take Zoe’s poop to the vet!


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